More than 3,000 people have taken advantage of the newly-created McLennan County Rural Transit District since its inception July 1.

The district’s board, during its first official meeting Thursday evening, adopted a 14-month budget of $981,000 in revenues and the same amount in expenses through August 2016.

The new transit district replaced the previous service administered by the Heart of Texas Council of Governments. Waco-area leaders think a local service will be a better use of transit funds for McLennan County residents.

Board members discussed marketing and revenue opportunities, the need for a future capital projects fund and low ridership numbers on Saturday.

John Hendrickson, Waco Transit general manager, said numbers will improve as the district continues to build confidence in the system with residents throughout the county. Destinations with the district include anywhere in McLennan County or adjacent counties, as long as one of the stops originates from or travels to a rural address.

Waco Mayor Malcolm Duncan Jr. asked if ridership reports could be more specific in the future, outlining where a majority of riders are headed, whether it be a school, medical office, or to work or other destinations.

Hendrickson said the district could implement a voluntary survey to help gauge desired destinations.

County Judge Scott Felton asked about possibly adding bus stops to areas that are popular pickup and drop-off locations.

Hendrickson said it’s a possibility, although ADA requirements will have to be met at certain locations.

Trips can be arranged by calling the Waco Transit System at least 24 hours in advance or a trip can be scheduled up to two weeks in advance.

Same-day trips are $5 for a one-way trip, with limited availability. The fare is $3 per one-way in-county trip and $5 for one-way trips crossing county lines. The service is available from 5:15 a.m. to 7:15 p.m. Monday through Friday and 7:15 a.m. to 8:15 p.m. on Saturday.

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